Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

August 29, 2010

Tomato Days

Filed under: Recipes — Karma @ 9:17 pm
Tags: , , ,

tomcrop

I decided to take a break from the Maine posts to ask you a question: Do you have tomatoes coming out of your garden like crazy right now?  Could you use a few different ideas for ways to use them up?  My tomatoes are ripening and begging to be used, so I thought I’d offer you a few of my favorite recipes.

For my first favorite, I really don’t have a recipe though!  Oops!  But I can tell you how to do it and how you can make it to your liking : Fresh Salsa!
Fresh salsa

My ingredients:

Tomatoes

Hot Peppers – any kind; we grow jalepenos, cayennes and thai dragons

onions

cilantro

garlic

Chop up an onion and garlic cloves.  Place them in a strainer and pour some boiling water over them and let them sit for a few minutes.  Chop hot peppers with gloved hands!  Remove the seeds; depending on how spicy you like it, remove some or all of the inner membranes.  More membrane = more heat.   Chop tomatoes.  My basic proportion is about 1-2 hot peppers per 3 tomatoes, more if you like it extra hot and spicy.  This gives what I would call medium heat.  Dice some cilantro leaves and add in enough until you have a nice sprinkling of green among the red.  Stir, and let sit for a few hours.  Enjoy within a few days for best flavor.

This recipe I got from Cooking Light magazine, but I’ve made an improvement to it. 

Quick Panzanella with Chicken:

Ingredients

  • 4  (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 3/4  teaspoon  salt, divided
  • 1/2  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • Cooking spray
  • 2  cups  (1-inch) cubed tomato
  • 2  cups  diced ciabatta bread (about 4 ounces)
  • 1  cup  thinly sliced celery (2 stalks)
  • 1/2  cup  fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 2  tablespoons  extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2  tablespoons  red wine vinegar
  • 1  small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2  English cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced (about 1 cup)

Preparation

1. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken to pan; cook 6 minutes on each side or until done. Remove from heat, and chop.

2. Place tomato in a large bowl; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Let stand for 5 minutes. Add chicken, bread, and the remaining ingredients to tomato mixture, tossing well to combine. Serve immediately.

IMG_1199

Taking that bread and toasting it into croutons makes this recipe over-the-top delicious!  I toss the bread cubes in a frying pan with olive oil and some herbs snipped fresh from my herb barrel.  I also cook the chicken on my George Foreman grill with some Greek seasoning, rather than just salt and pepper.  I mix up all the veggies and vinegar and oil before adding the chicken and bread:
IMG_1204

Add the warm croutons and the chicken right before serving, and this is what you get:
IMG_1205

Delicious!

This last recipe is a recent one I’ve tried.  It was good, but there was definitely room for improvement.  You can find the full recipe here.  I started with these for my ingredients:
IMG_1254

I pretty much followed the recipe straight except that I had frozen ravioli instead of fresh and big garden tomatoes instead of grape tomatoes.  I par-boiled the frozen ravioli and that seemed to work out fine.  The dish turned out beautifully in my opinion:
IMG_1257

It was lacking a bit in flavor, however.  I think both the tomato sauce and the raviolis could have benefited from more seasoning in the cooking process.  Maybe some basil ( duh, why didn’t I think of that when I was cooking?) for the tomatoes, and some garlic or maybe even a dash of some cajun seasoning on the ravioli.  Meghan and I ground some garlic salt over the ravioli when we ate them, and that helped.  I wanted to include this recipe because I think it most definitely has some potential.  Why don’t you give it a try and let me know how it comes out?

P.S. to Jennifer: yes here’s another that could have been a guest post for you!  Feel free to use the new “reblog it” feature if you’d like!

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18 Comments »

  1. Oh yeah, to the tomatoes. There is nothing better than a fresh tomato picked from your own garden. We usually go with our old stand-by, caprese salad.

    Comment by Becky Sue — August 30, 2010 @ 9:08 am | Reply

    • Is caprese salad the one with basil and fresh mozzerella? I like that too.

      Comment by Karma — August 30, 2010 @ 9:26 am | Reply

      • Yes, that’s it!

        Comment by Becky Sue — September 2, 2010 @ 10:03 pm

  2. Our tomatoes are just now starting to turn (Phew!) as we are a few weeks behind you. I LOVE to roast the tomatoes and use them in all sorts of dishes, most often, on a pizza with fresh mozzerella and basil – YUM! The chicken panzanella looks yummy!

    Comment by milkayphoto — August 30, 2010 @ 10:59 am | Reply

    • Enjoy those tomatoes while you can! Panzanella is best with the garden freshies, so be sure to give it a try!

      Comment by Karma — August 30, 2010 @ 10:53 pm | Reply

  3. My mouth is watering!

    Comment by Barbara — August 30, 2010 @ 11:14 am | Reply

    • Let me know if you give any of the recipes a try!

      Comment by Karma — August 30, 2010 @ 10:54 pm | Reply

  4. It looks s o o o good. All of it.

    Comment by Carsten — August 30, 2010 @ 3:24 pm | Reply

    • It is really good, Carsten! Thanks for stopping by!

      Comment by Karma — August 30, 2010 @ 10:54 pm | Reply

  5. Oooh I do so hate your foody type posts… as whenever I read them I’m always at that “peckish, but too late to cook anything” point in the day… lol… So then I have to go to bed dreaming about food… lol… Sure seems tasty though, and thanks again… 😉

    Comment by FS Photography — August 30, 2010 @ 4:01 pm | Reply

    • Sorry to get your appetite going at the wrong time of day! But now maybe you have some ideas for tomorrow or the weekend when you are craving something tasty! 🙂

      Comment by Karma — August 30, 2010 @ 10:55 pm | Reply

  6. […] I decided to take a break from the Maine posts to ask you a question: Do you have tomatoes coming out of your garden like crazy right now?  Could you use a few different ideas for ways to use them up?  My tomatoes are ripening and begging to be used, so I thought I'd offer you a few of my favorite recipes. For my first favorite, I really don't have a recipe though!  Oops!  But I can tell you how to do it and how you can make it to your liking : F … Read More […]

    Pingback by Tomato Days (via Karma’s When I Feel Like It Blog) « Bread & Putter — August 30, 2010 @ 9:48 pm | Reply

  7. The Panzanella looks amazing. I like a lot of the Cooking Light recipes aside from the fact that they’re not very light and require some flavor/fat adjustment on my part. They’re great inspiration, though.

    Anyway, seeing as how tomatoes are my favorite food, here are some ideas: tomato sauce, freeze in ice cube trays and place in plastic baggies–easy to defrost in the fall. I enjoy making tomato-based soups, bruschetta, caprese salads, different relishes to top meat. I could add tomatoes to anything & be happy.

    Comment by Baking Barrister — August 30, 2010 @ 9:57 pm | Reply

    • Thanks for stopping by, BB! Mmmmm, love bruschetta. Made some of that the other day too. Yours is the second comment mentioning caprese salad – and I don’t know if I’ve had it! I do make a salad with tomatoes and fresh mozzerella and basil that’s very good too.

      Comment by Karma — August 30, 2010 @ 10:58 pm | Reply

  8. This is timely. I am canning tomatoes today. Once I get this bushel in the jars, I’m going to start on making salsa.

    Everything looks so delicious!

    Comment by Robin — August 31, 2010 @ 10:20 am | Reply

    • Gotta love garden tomatoes while you can get them! Enjoy!

      Comment by Karma — August 31, 2010 @ 3:33 pm | Reply

  9. Are any of the houses in your neighborhood for sale (for a reasonable price)? I’d love to be your neighbor so you can get rid of all those extra tomatoes! 😉
    Everything looks delicious… and making me HUNGRY!!
    My mom used to make a really good tomato salad. Just cut the tomatoes in wedges, add finely chopped onion (as little or as much as you want), and the dressing was just a vinegar/oil/water mixture.

    Comment by thedailyclick — August 31, 2010 @ 4:23 pm | Reply

    • Lol, Michaela!
      Luckily any time I post a recipe, you will know it doesn’t require a ton of skill to have it turn out well. Complicated cookin’ is more my sister’s thing, so give these a try – farm stand tomatoes will do! 🙂

      Comment by Karma — August 31, 2010 @ 10:44 pm | Reply


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